While processing the Federation-supported agencies files of Martha Selig, I discovered a folder for the Emanu-El Midtown YM-YWHA which showcased their “unique photographic exhibit” entitled “The Jew in New York.”
The American Jewish Historical Society is listed as a source for exhibit photographs along with the Jewish Museum, Bund Archives of the Jewish Labor Movement, and Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS). In fact, the photograph used on the cover for the invitation for the preview and accompanying reception to the exhibit at the Emanu-El Midtown YM-YWHA gallery is from the AJHS collection I-7, Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, N.Y.) Records. In more recent years, many of the images from the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work’s Lower East Side photographs have been digitized and are available online at the Center for Jewish History Digital Collections.
John V. Lindsay, the Mayor of New York City in 1973, authored the foreword in the exhibit booklet. He offers the following kind words about the exhibit and the Emanu-El Midtown Y:
As Harry Golden puts it, New York is “the greatest Jewish city in the world.” Perhaps it might not be too boastful to add that ours is the greatest Jewish city in history, for New York has been for some decades and remains the largest urban community in history… As we celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of New York as a united city, it is well to note that the Jewish people have been joint builders in our city’s destiny. This exhibit is a sensitive and moving portrayal of aspects of that Jewish experience. It is another of many fine contributions by the Emanu-El Midtown YM-YWHA to the quality of community life in New York.